Want to know where Old Mutual is betting a lot of its money?

The Solgas solar farm in Dete: company plans to add 10MW more to site

Where is Old Mutual, one of the country’s biggest investors, putting its money?

Back in February, Sam Matsekete, CEO of Old Mutual Zimbabwe, listed some of the sectors where he said his company was seeing some promise.  

“There are good signs emerging in economic sub-sectors such as agriculture, mining, horticulture and energy, where there are actual investments taking place,” Matsekete said.

The company has large holdings on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and has vast property assets. But it is Old Mutual’s choice of unlisted investments that give a window into where the company is seeing future growth; it is a mix of green energy, agriculture and some food manufacturing.

In its financials, Old Mutual discloses investments in unlisted firms where it holds over 20% shareholding. Renewable energy companies, as well as a private equity firm that holds diverse interests from agriculture to food industries, dominate the list.

Here is where Old Mutual is putting its money:

Kupinga Renewable Energy

Old Mutual holds 40% in Kupinga Energy, a hydropower plant operated on the Rusitu River in Chipinge. The project has a 25-year licence and has a rated capacity of 1.6MW.

Solgas

The company owns 49% of the ordinary shares in Solgas, the energy company that is building a solar farm at Cross Mabale, Dete, in Hwange district.  After securing the investment for the first phase, US$7 million, Solgas has recently completed installing 5MW.

It has applied for authority to build a further 10MW. Solgas is located on a 100 hectare site, where there’s space to build up to 88MW. It has a 25-year-power purchase agreement with ZESA and has an agreed tariff with the utility.

Other planned projects include a 10MW plant in Chiredzi, a waste-to-power project in Bulawayo and a solar plant in harare.

Richaw Solar Tech

Old Mutual has 49% of Richaw Solar Tech, which is developing a 5.5MW solar farm in Gwanda. Richaw is operated by New Sahara Ventures, which is also developing a solar plant in Seke, as well as a 5.5MW solar park in Guruve.

Harava Solar Park

Old Mutual has invested in Harava Solar, which is building a 20MW solar farm in Seke. The initial phase of 6MW is done and the company plans to complete the project by November this year. According to Harava, the plant will provide power to 45 000 households.

Under construction: The Harava solar plant, in Seke

InvestSolar, the company that operates Harava, is also investing in a 30MW solar farm in Zhenje, Mashonaland East.

Takura Ventures

The private equity fund is also a beneficiary of Old Mutual investment. Takura has various interests.  Its most recent plays include a deal to acquire a 57.4% stake in StarAfrica and the takeover of Interfresh Limited, whose main asset is the Mazowe Citrus Estates. Takura, through various funds also backed by the UK’s CDC, has invested in companies such as Agricom, Montana Meats, Cairns Foods, Lobels and Talwent, which holds Food Lovers Market franchise. Takura is a significant shareholder in the Avenues and Montague clinics.

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